Wednesday, December 28, 2011

GO TEAM, Air Force and Constipated Birds

Have you picked up your Citizen's Bank Button for the Bowl game?

Were you expecting the usual pun or insightful play on words ala Forrest Thump?

Maybe something like Houston, you have a problem . . .

Well if this football season hasn't been disappointing enough already, prepare yeself for the illustrious slogan for this year's TicketCity Bowl . . .

GO Nittany Lions!

That's it.  That's all folks.  I.  Kid.  You.  Not.

Well, at least GO is capitalized and there's an exclamation point!

Seriously?  Is this the best they can do?  Houston, are we a GO?  Is there that little interest in this game that putting together a decent slogan was too much work for somebody?

But then bad decisions are a part of bowl season apparently.  Just ask Air Force.  After scoring the potentially tying TD with less than a minute to go, they opted for a two-point conversion to "win" the game.  It failed and they lost.

I guess overtime is too much to ask for--or hope for--in a bowl game.  Of course, I'm just pissed because I picked Air Force in the football bowl pool!

And then there was Louisville, losing to NC State.  I actually picked NC State.  But what is with that angry bird mascot for Louisville.  Looks more constipated than mean . . . .

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Birthday AND Merry Christmas Joe!

We'll have a Blue Christmas without you!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Statistically Speaking: Ticket City Edition

Here are the national rankings for Houston vs. Penn State from the NCAA:

NCAA Stats Comparison
Category:Penn St.HoustonDelta
Passing Offense961-95
Total Offense941-93
Scoring Offense1101-109
Rushing Defense487729
Turnovers Gained2816-12
Passes Had Intercepted359-26
Pass Defense54843
Net Punting7860-18
Punt Returns779-68
Kickoff Returns325523
Turnover Margin328-24
Fumbles Recovered295223
Passes Intercepted245-19
Fumbles Lost9242-50
Turnovers Lost6511-54
Passing Efficiency1123-109
Pass Efficiency Defense52419
Total Defense106454
Scoring Defense54136
Fewest Penalties Per Game296435
Fewest Yards Penalized Per Game305828
Punt Return Yardage Defense66748
Kickoff Return Yardage Defense6360-3
Offense Third-down Efficiency956-89
Offense Fourth-down Efficiency273912
Defense Third-down Efficiency5247-5
Defense Fourth-down Efficiency324715
Tackles for Loss304-26
Offense Tackles for Loss253
Pass Sacks26359
Pass Sacks Allowed163317
Time of Possession5511560
First Downs892-87
First Downs Allowed196445
Red Zone Efficiency9139-52
Red Zone Efficiency - Defense1192-117
Average NCAA Rank:50.5934.68-15.92
Weighted Avg. Rank:54.0832.5-21.58

Here is Houston's schedule for 2011:

2011HoustonCougars Schedule
DateOpponentResultRecordOpp. Record
Sept. 3UCLAW 38-341-0 (0-0)6-7 *
Sept. 10at North TexasW 48-232-0 (0-0)5-7
Sept. 17at La TechW 35-343-0 (0-0)8-4 *
Sept. 24GEORGIA STATEW 56-04-0 (0-0)3-8
Sept. 29at UTEPW 49-425-0 (1-0)5-7
Oct. 8EAST CAROLINAW 56-36-0 (2-0)5-7
Oct. 22MARSHALLW 63-287-0 (3-0)6-6 *
Oct. 27RICEW 73-348-0 (4-0)4-8
Nov. 5at UABW 56-139-0 (5-0)3-9
Nov. 10at TulaneW 73-1710-0 (6-0)2-11
Nov. 19SMUW 37-711-0 (7-0)7-5 *
Nov. 25at TulsaW 48-1612-0 (8-0)8-4 *
Dec. 3SOUTHERN MISSL 49-2812-1 (8-1)11-2 *

While Houston's national NCAA rankings are impressive (34.68 ranks 6th in the country--PSU's 50.59 ranks 37th), I am kind of underwhelmed by their schedule.  Southern Miss (21st in the BCS) is the only ranked team they have played.  By contrast, Penn State played nine bowl bound opponents and the Owls have already won their bowl impressively, beating Wyoming 37-15.  Five oppoennts play in January. 

Houston's offensive numbers are impressive--their defense is meh.  But how good is that offense?  If you look at the defenses (Georgia Southern not included) they have faced, the best defense was Southern Miss at 31, with an average NCAA ranking of 80 among all the Division 1A teams they faced.

To be fair, I compared the offenses that Penn State's defense has faced to date.  The best was Wisconsin at 15th in the country, with an overall average ranking of 66, not including Indiana State.

Penn State may be without starting QB Matt McGloin.  It is not clear whether Drake and McGloin will face punishment for their altercation, but McGloin will need to be medically cleared to play.  Paul Jones might be eligible if his GPA cooperates.  Bolden apparently will not suffer any team punishment for a prank gone awry, where he stole a $2.00 bottle of Gatorade and then returned it to the store.  What?  No tattoo???  Don't these kids today even know how to get into trouble?

The unknown quantity of coaching may play a factor.  Does Bradley have the job or not?  Honestly, rumors aside, he will not be the coach next season.  Rumors are flying that Larry Johnson, Sr. could be headed to Columbus to head up a defense for Urban Renewal.  Regardless of the outcome of the changes, the situation has to be a dsitraction both for the players and the coaches.

Penn State is currently a 5-6 point underdog.  Take McGloin out of the equation and add a coaching staff that is working on finding jobs elsewhere, and it doesn't add up to a Penn State victory.  Unless of course, the Cougar offense is really over-rated.

Even though this isn't a Joe Paterno-coached team anymore, it would be really nice to send his last team out on a positive note.

But that won't happen unless Houston has a problem.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

No Coach Yet

No white smoke over Old Main . . .

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

That's The Ticket . . . City

Did you hear what Tom Starr, President and CEO of the TicketCity Bowl said about Penn State?
For weeks, Starr had been telling anybody who would listen the same thing: If Penn State was available, the Nittany Lions would be more-than-welcomed in Dallas.

The TicketCity Bowl, being in just its second year, didn't have some of the political issues to consider that the more-established bowls did. It had a chance to take a stand if it could get over the qualms other bowls had with inviting Penn State.
That was the easiest part of the decision, Starr said.
"We had none. We really didn't. I say that in all honesty," Starr said. "All we were focused on is that Penn State has a great football legacy and is a proud academic institution. ... This may sound corny, and I obviously can't answer for the other bowls (that passed over Penn State). But sometimes, in life, you have to be the one to do the right thing. It was important for us not to punish the players. I can't understand why there should be a mass punishment for the act of one man. And it's not just the players. It's the alumni. It's the faculty. It's the student body. What did they do? We thought, 'Why would you want to punish all those people for the horrible acts of one person?' "
Doing the right thing, in Starr's mind, also happened to net Dallas one of the most intriguing matchups of the bowl season.
Only two bowls - the BCS Championship Game and the Fiesta Bowl - feature two teams with fewer combined losses than the four between the Nittany Lions and Cougars in the TicketCity Bowl.
Finally!  Someone not only "gets" it, but isn't afraid of pissing off the politically correct pussies by saying it out loud!  Amen!

Not So Great Expectations

Charles Dickens wrote Great Expectations, but the stories being written at Penn State would more appropriately be attributable to Greek or Shakespearean tragedies.

Prior to November 5th, the head coaching job at Penn State was perhaps one of the more attractive coaching jobs in the country.  Now, we may be lucky to find a high school coach who will be willing to take this job.

Okay.  That's an exaggeration to some degree.  But the short list of candidates seems to be getting shorter the further we go in this process.  And that's NOT a good thing.  And the rationalization of how these coaches who don't look good on paper but will suddenly be taking us to national championship heights is almost comical. 

I have often said that the problem with electing a president of the United States is that the individuals who are best suited, most capable, and would do the best job . . .  are all smart enough not to want the job.

That describes the Penn State coaching vacancy at this point.

While Urban Meyer may not be the best coach in the country, and may not even have been the best coach for THIS job, he was probably the best available coach given our circumstances.  He would bring in a record of success (although Florida did have its share of off-the-field problems under his tenure) and a name that would bring recruits in immediately.

But whether because of the Sandusky Scandal or in spite of it, he has chosen to sign with the enemy.

The committee to select the next head coach is not rife with football experts.

PSU President Erickson, said this in a USA Today article by Johnson and Whiteside:
President Rodney Erickson told USA TODAY on Tuesday that he is seeking to transform the university's public image from a football school to a "world class research institution."

"We need to refocus the spotlight on those things [academics] and de-emphasize the spotlight on athletics," he [Sims, Penn State's vice president of student affairs] said, adding that a de-emphasis does not equate to "damaging" the program. "I think we also need to understand that there's all this other stuff that's more important to us than football."

One way to demonstrate that, Sims suggested, was the selection of the new football coach.

He said it would be a "terrible mistake" to pay a new coach on a scale equal to other recent football hires, including Urban Meyer at Ohio State where he is expected to earn $4.5 million per year.
So now we are going to try and hire a guy to a position that we are trying to de-emphasize, and at a salary less than his direct competitors.  GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!

What is really maddening is that the academic side has never been an issue under Paterno, who has always stressed education as a priority of the Grand Experiment.  There is a library named after him.  And despite his 409 wins, if there has ever been a criticism of Paterno's experiment, it was with the results on the field, not in the classroom.

Exhibit A:  The Academic BCS

New America Foundation 5th Annual Academic Bowl Championship Series
  1. Penn State - 117
  2. Boise State - 107
  3. TCU - 101
  4. Stanford - 100
  5. Alabama - 78.7
  6. West Virginia - 75.7
  7. Georgia - 72.3
  8. Southern Miss - 69.3
  9. Kansas State - 64
  10. Nebraska - 64

Note that the two Big Ten schools are the newest members of the conference. LSU is 13th on this list.

And while most people associate Penn State with the legendary coach and his football program, it is not --and despite this scandal STILL is not --- a "bad" association.  It was a cleanly run program and has never been a football factory like some other programs out there.  The implication that the football program is somehow to blame for the Sandusky scandal or that because there may have been some mistakes made in the handling of that information that the football program has less integrity is simply poor logic and fallacious. 

Just because President Clinton fooled around with Monica Lewinsky does not mean the whole system of American Democracy is disreputable.  Schultz and Curley were part of the football system:  they were NOT the system.  But I digress.

Based on all this to date, I don't see Penn State hiring a "qualified" candidate because basically that would mean that said candidate was not good enough to command more salary elsewhere.  In other words, I don't think there is anyone out there with the right qualifications at the price we seem to be willing to pay.

Is Penn State willing to ink a contract for 4 million dollars a year, say 24-30 million over six years with incentives and the like, when attendance was already down this year, the economy is not improving that fast, and STEP is discouraging folks from getting season tickets when there are so many tickets available at single game prices?

Unfortunately, the football program has educated countless athletes in a wide variety of sports over the years--and it has not cost Penn State one dime from the academic budget.  If football fails, then either student athletic scholarships will be reduced--we educate fewer people--and we offer fewer sports.  That ladies and gentlemen is the harsh reality.

De-emphasizing football does not emphasize academics and research.  You can't build up the poor by destroying the rich.  Socialism fails because eventually you run out of other people's money.  (Paraphrased from Margaret Thatcher.)

So could we end up with a coach like Petersen (Boise State)?  Look where Boise State is in the academic BCS.  But can we match his salary, and would he be interested in the job?  Salary (see below) is not an issue so much.  But I think not.  I hope I am wrong because he is (and was prior to all this) my personal first choice to succeed Joe.

David Shaw at Stanford?  Another nice rumor and fun to debate, but seriously?  Why would he leave Stanford for Penn State?

I couldn't find Shaw's current salary, but my search found this site about coaching salaries on the rise.  Shaw is listed as N/A.

I mean if you were going to go out and get a coach, wouldn't you want someone like a Les Miles or a Nick Saban?  A proven winner.  National Championships.  Recruiting gurus.  Evidence on the field.  Both are in the top 13 of the academic BCS.

If you are--and assuming they would even think about coming to Happy Valley-- the price tag is going to be $3.7-4.8 million per year.

Petersen is a bargain at $1.5 million. 

Mullen (MSU) is at $2.5 million.  London at Virginia--$1.8 million.  Neuheisal was making $1.25 million at UCLA.  Patterson (TCU) pulls in just over $2 million.  Sumlin (Houston) is at $1.2 million.  Despite a great year for Houston, he is 35-17 overall as a head coach.  Petersen is  71-6 in case you are wondering.  Miles is 103-38.  Al Golden is largely unproven, and has as many ties to Penn State as Bradley.  He isn't on that list of salaries either.  I saw some rumors about Mark Richt (Georgia).  That's almost a $3 million price tag.

I have seen some fans excited by Harvard Coach Tim Murphy.  Seriously?  The man is 119-59 at Harvard since 1994.  He is 151-104-1 as a head coach overall including time at Cincinnati pre-Kelley.  He had one winning season (8-3) with the Bearcats.  He originally started coaching as an assistant at Brown, where Joe Paterno came from, so he's got that going for him.  How can you extrapolate from these numbers that this man is going to be a successful coach at Penn State????  He's also 55 years old.  Bradley's resume is better than this!

Bill Cowher?  Gruden?  Tony Dungy?  Great wish list fans, but NFL salaries are even higher.  None of these guys has significant, if any, college coaching experience . . . and if they had been good at it, why aren't they still doing it?  They either want too much money, or don't want to coach college.  Don't get me wrong . . . I'd be excited as hell to see them take a shot at it, and I think any of them would fill the stadium next year.  But the reality is that we fans have a better shot at winning the Powerball, than Penn State has of signing one of these guys.

Mike Munchak (PSU grad and current Titan Head Coach) is in his first head coaching gig and is 7-5.  I've seen fans post that he could be the salvation of Penn State football.  I'm not seeing it.  I'm not feeling it.  It's just wishful thinking.  I don't know what he's being paid at Tennessee, but I kind of think it's more than we'd be able to offer.

In the end, Tom Bradley might be (and in reality is) the best choice.  He is affordable and available.  He loves Penn State.  He is most likely to retain key elements of the staff such as Vanderlinden and Johnson.  All three are great recruiters.  Any new coach is going to need to set up a system and rapport with high school coaches.  These guys are already there.  Our defense will continue to be good, if not great.  The only down-side to Tom Bradley is that he is "part of the system."  He is Al Gore to Bill Clinton.  He coached under Sandusky.  Did he know anything about this scandal?  Can the University afford to continue with a man who might be tainted?

My personal opinion:  Bradley has NO chance, unless the committee absolutely can't come up with a candidate by the bowl game or before LOI day.  Then, he would probably be kept year to year.

But I sense that the BOT and Joyner want to clean the slate and start over.  And depending on how hell-bent they are to clean house, that might mean signing a less than ideal coach just for the sake of moving on.

But I don't think they want to invest the capital they need to keep this $100+ million business running.

And even IF they open up the checkbook and are willing to spend big bucks . . . who is going to be willing to come to Penn State with this scandal hanging over the stadium like a black cloud?  After all, there is more to job satisfaction than money.  And who knows how serious the administration is about "de-emphasizing" the football program and what ramifications that will have in the future.  I actually think the scandal and fall-out thereof would actually take some pressure off the new hire, much as it has endeared Tom Bradley to many Penn Staters who wouldn't have wanted him to succeed Paterno before this scandal--i.e. look how good a job Bradley did under the circumstances, when the reality is that Bradley went 1-3 and didn't make it to the Big Ten Title game.  A new head coach could "buy" an extra year or two claiming that the scandal has hurt his recruiting, etc.  Just a thought if you're considering applying for the job.

Who do I think will be the next head coach?  I haven't a clue.  But we could do worse than Chris Petersen.  I truly expect Penn State to go low budget, lose recruits and season ticket holders and struggle for probably a decade.  But then, I have lowered my expectations.  Maybe this merry band of non-football folks can pull a Paterno out of a hat for a song.  But I'm not going to hold my breath.

And BTW, Dr. Joyner . . . if I were you, I'd be keeping a list of those that don't return your calls or express no interest.  Because the odds are that whoever is selected will be there for only a few years.  That is what history has taught us.  Notre Dame since Lou Holtz.  Alabama after the Bear.  Nebraska after Tom Osborne.  Oklahoma after Switzer.  The jury is still out on Jimbo Fisher, but if F$U doesn't get back into the Top Ten at the end of the season pretty soon, we will likely add the post Bowden era to that list.

Not every coaching change is as successful as the Engle to Paterno transfer was.

So I'd keep a list of those that turn you down now.  They wouldn't get another opportunity down the road when the dust from this scandal has settled, if it were up to me.

And if it were up to me, I'd throw my hat in for a nomination to the BOT.  I'll show them some change.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Bowling Season Opens December 17

Monday, December 5, 2011

Trouble With a Capital T?

Well, either you're closing your eyes
To a situation you do not wish to acknowledge
Or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated
By the presence of a scandal in your community.
Ya got trouble, my friend, right here,
I say, trouble right here in Ticket City. 
Trouble with a capital "T"
And that rhymes with "P" and that stands for Paterno!
--adapted from THE MUSIC MAN

Fortunately for the Nittany Lions, Ticket City said scandal be damned--we want Penn State!  I applaud their testicular fortitude.  For the other bowls . . . Gator on down . . . shame on you.
Here are the Big Ten Bowl tie-ins:
Rose Bowl (Wisconsin)
Cap One Bowl (Nebraska)
Outback Bowl (Michigan State)
Gator Bowl (Ohio State)
Insight Bowl (Iowa)
Meineke Car Care (Northwestern)
Ticket City (Penn State)
Litle Ceasars (Purdue)
OK.  I don't think for one minute that the Bowl system or the BCS is FAIR.  It never has been, and until a major overhaul occurs, it never will be.
Is it fair that Oklahoma State not have a chance at LSU?  Boise State is one missed field goal away from a perfect season and they are relegated to a December 22nd snooze fest against a 6-6 barely bowl eligible Arizona State.  Talk about injustice!
And our opponent, Houston, was one game away from a BCS spot, and now they are stuck playing us.  Thank Heavens I ain't a Cougar fan.
Don't even get me started about West Virginia.  The Big Least needs to lose that automatic bid and fast.  Hell, you have to be in the top 14 I think just to be eligible for an at-large bid, and they couldn't even manage that.  I hope Clemson clobbers them.
But we fans have no say in the bowl system--and probably shouldn't have any say.  Otherwise, it becomes a popularity contest rather than a match-up of competitive teams.
And in the final analysis, the LSU-Bama match-up will be competitive.  Unfortunately, we've already been there and done that.  If I were overhauling the BCS system, one change I'd make is to eliminate rematches.  If the teams have already played, then the team that previously lost is skipped and you match up the next best team.  But that would make too much sense.  And I digress.
The system also gives us some interesting matchups to look forward to:  Oregon-Wisconsin, Georgia-Michigan State, and Stanford-Oklahoma State, to name a few.
The problem I have with the system is the Big Ten tie ins.  Penn State tied for first in their division (so came in second at worst) and maybe fifth overall behind THEM, Nebraska, MSU and Wisconsin.  We lost to three of those teams and I have no problem seeing them get good bowls.  I hate THEM, but they have a better record.  I personally think MSU should have gotten their bowl bid, but I'm not going to go there right now.
But for Ohio State to go to the Gator Bowl when we beat the Buckeyes and they are only 6-6 is simply unacceptable.  Likewise for Iowa and Northwestern whom we beat.  We have a better record on the field overall and won the head-to-head games against them, yet the bowls selected them ahead of Penn State.
Why?  Well, we don't need to mention that here, but if you have been living under a rock, you can save 15% on your car insurance AND the reason is Sandusky.
But how do the players on this team and we ardent fans of the game have any blame in this?  Why are the players and fans being penalized because of this?
Because life isn't fair.  Thank you Mr. Obvious.
On the other hand, the match-up with the cougars is not a bad opportunity to challenge our defense.  We are playing a team with only one loss, and a team ranked 19th in the BCS.  Only Iowa is playing a higher ranked bowl opponent (Oklahoma at 14.)  The Gator bowl would be a Florida rematch, which quite frankly doesn't excite me.  Northwestern can have A&M.  It would be nice to play a team like Oklahoma, but who wants to play a bowl game on December 30th?
It sucks that the game is on ESPNU.  Who?  The U?  Give me a freaking break.  Why????  (Because all the other "better" games are on the other channels.)  It's also a noon start--but it is the day after the first, so maybe the hangover won't be so bad.
All in all, things could have been worse.  I hope our guys give Houston a problem.
We're Bowling!  Strike up the band and strike down the Cougars!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bowl Lineup

Gildan New MexicoAlbuquerque, NMSat., Dec. 17ESPN
   Temple vs. WyomingUniversity Stadium2:00 p.m. ET
Famous Idaho PotatoBoise, IDSat., Dec. 17ESPN
   Ohio vs. Utah StateBronco Stadium5:30 p.m. ET
R+L Carriers New OrleansNew Orleans, LASat., Dec. 17ESPN
   La.-Lafayette vs. San Diego St.Mercedes-Benz Superdome9:00 p.m. ET(3D)
Beef O' Brady's St. PetersburgSt. Petersburg, FLTue., Dec. 20ESPN
   Florida International vs. MarshallTropicana Field8:00 p.m. ET(3D)
San Diego County CU PoinsettiaSan Diego, CAWed., Dec. 21ESPN
   Louisiana Tech vs. TCUQualcomm Stadium8:00 p.m. ET
MAACO Las VegasLas Vegas, NVThu., Dec. 22ESPN
   Arizona State vs. Boise StateSam Boyd Stadium8:00 p.m. ET
Sheraton HawaiiHonolulu, HISat., Dec. 24ESPN
   Nevada vs. Southern MissAloha Stadium8:00 p.m. ET
AdvoCare V100 IndependenceShreveport, LAMon., Dec. 26ESPN
   Missouri vs. North CarolinaIndependence Stadium5:00 p.m. ET
Little Caesars Pizza Detroit, MITue., Dec. 27ESPN
   Purdue vs. Western MichiganFord Field4:30 p.m. ET
 BelkCharlotte, NCTue., Dec. 27ESPN
   Louisville vs. NC StateBank of America Stadium8:00 p.m. ET
MilitaryWashington, DCWed., Dec. 28ESPN
   Air Force vs. ToledoRFK Stadium4:30 p.m. ET
Bridgepoint Education HolidaySan Diego, CAWed., Dec. 28ESPN
   California vs. TexasQualcomm Stadium8:00 p.m. ET
Champs SportsOrlando, FLThu., Dec. 29ESPN
   Florida State vs. Notre DameFlorida Citrus Bowl5:30 p.m. ET(3D)
Valero AlamoSan Antonio, TXThu., Dec. 29ESPN
   Baylor vs. WashingtonAlamodome9:00 p.m. ET
Bell Helicopter Armed ForcesDallas, TXFri., Dec. 30ESPN
   BYU vs. TulsaGerald J. Ford Stadium12:00 p.m. ET
New Era PinstripeBronx, NYFri., Dec. 30ESPN
   Iowa State vs. RutgersYankee Stadium3:20 p.m. ET
Franklin Amer. Mort. Music CityNashville, TNFri., Dec. 30ESPN
   Mississippi State vs. Wake ForestLP Field6:40 p.m. ET
InsightTempe, AZFri., Dec. 30ESPN
   Iowa vs. OklahomaSun Devil Stadium10:00 p.m. ET
Meineke Car Care Bowl of TexasHouston, TXSat., Dec. 31ESPN
   Northwestern vs. Texas AMReliant Stadium12:00 p.m. ET
Hyundai SunEl Paso, TXSat., Dec. 31CBS
   Georgia Tech vs. UtahSun Bowl2:00 p.m. ET
Kraft Fight Hunger San Francisco, CASat., Dec. 31ESPN
   Illinois vs. UCLAAT&T Park3:30 p.m. ET
AutoZone LibertyMemphis, TNSat., Dec. 31ABC
   Cincinnati vs. VanderbiltLiberty Bowl3:30 p.m. ET
Chick-fil-AAtlanta, GASat., Dec. 31ESPN
   Auburn vs. VirginiaGeorgia Dome7:30 p.m. ET(3D)
TicketCityDallas, TXMon., Jan. 2ESPNU
   Houston vs. Penn StateCotton Bowl12:00 p.m. ET
Capital OneOrlando, FLMon., Jan. 2ESPN
   Nebraska vs. South CarolinaFlorida Citrus Bowl1:00 p.m. ET(3D)
OutbackTampa, FLMon., Jan. 2ABC
   Georgia vs. Michigan StateRaymond James Stadium1:00 p.m. ET GatorJacksonville, FLMon., Jan. 2ESPN2
   Florida vs. Ohio StateEverBank Field1:00 p.m. ET
Rose Bowl GamePasadena, CAMon., Jan. 2ESPN
   Oregon vs. WisconsinRose Bowl5:00 p.m. ET
Tostitos FiestaGlendale, AZMon., Jan. 2ESPN
   Oklahoma State vs. StanfordU. of Phoenix Stadium8:30 p.m. ET
Allstate SugarNew Orleans, LATue., Jan. 3ESPN
   THEM vs. Virginia TechMercedes-Benz Superdome8:30 p.m. ET
Discover OrangeMiami Gardens, FLWed., Jan. 4ESPN
   Clemson vs. West VirginiaSun Life Stadium8:00 p.m. ET
AT&T CottonArlington, TXFri., Jan. 6FOX
   Arkansas vs. Kansas StateCowboys Stadium8:00 p.m. ET
BBVA CompassBirmingham, ALSat., Jan. 7ESPN
   Pittsburgh vs. SMULegion Field1:00 p.m. ET
GoDaddy.comMobile, ALSun., Jan. 8ESPN
   Arkansas State vs. Northern IllinoisLadd-Peebles Stadium9:00 p.m. ET
Allstate BCS National ChampionshipNew Orleans, LAMon., Jan. 9ESPN
   Alabama vs. LSUMercedes-Benz Superdome8:30 p.m. ET(3D)

Coming to a Blog Near You

Football Finale

As we anxiously await the screw Penn State bowl selection process, here's a brief and irreverent (and more likely irrelevant) recap of Championship Saturday, which I guess technically began Friday night with the PAC-12 Championship game between UCLA and the Mutant Ninja Turtles of Eugene.

UCLA lost.  Oregon  outquacked them 49-31.  Neuheisal is now available for the Penn State position.  Wasn't he seen at the Tavern a few years ago?

Northern Illinois won the MAC Championship, defeating Ohio University 23-20.  Penn State opens with Ohio next season.  Maybe Frank Solich would want to be our next head coach? Wait a minute, Ohio was ahead 20-0 at the half.  I guess we can cross him off the list.  Not that he was ever on it.

My second favorite team, Boise State, beat New Mexico 45-0.  Go Broncos!  Man, I'd like to see what that coach could do with the facilities and tradition at Penn State.  But I guess some recent NCAA infractions at Boise and our own little off the field diversion have made that possibility a no-go.

Speaking of a No-Go. . . Houston . . .  we have a problem.  The Cougars went from BCS buster to bust in one game, losing to Southern Miss 49-28.  On the other hand, I've heard we might match up with Houston in the Nobody Else Wants You Toilet Bowl.

The Va Tech Chokies were in big game form, as the Clemson Tigers pounded them 38-10.  Don't be surprised if they still end ranked in the top 10.  The Chokies are almost as over-rated as Notre Dame.

Speaking of taking a pounding, Oklahoma was crushed by Oklahoma State 44-10.  Has Stoops been mentioned as a possible candidate for Penn State?  Who hasn't?  I was wondering how they could stage the Big XII championship on the same day that Texas played Baylor--granted, neither of the latter teams were in the running at this point, but you wouldn't have known that when the Texas game was scheduled.  But then I realized, the Big XII is really the Big X, and thus doesn't have enough teams to stage a championship.  My, how the tables have turned.

LSU looked mortal, falling behind Mark Richt's Bulldogs 10-0 (isn't Mark Richt on the list of potential head coaching candidates as well?), but then LSU woke up and scored 42 unanswered points to seal the SEC Title and the BCS Title game rematch with the red elephants.  The SEC is 7-0 in BCS Title games . . .they will lose one this year, since 8-1 is the best they can hope for.  Or, maybe the computers will suddenly hate Alabama.  Stranger things have happened, but I think ESPN has scheduled this rematch and nothing short of armageddon will stop it.  Go Bama . . . just for the hell of it!

And in the Big Ten's inaugural title game, the Badgers managed not to make the last mistake this time, and MSU cooperated with a running into the punter penalty that sealed their doom.  Mark Dantonio hates rematches.  I hate rematches.  I think LSU will hate them as well.  For that matter, Okie State probably loathes the rematch.  And, for what it's worth, Wisconsin won 42-39.  LSU and Bama played to a six six tie in regulation.  The Big Ten scores 81 points.  What is this world coming to?

And now we sit back and see how many teams with worse records get better bowls than Penn State.